ALL THE numbers are in and I can confirm that, despite the restrictions Covid placed upon us all, my charity fundraising for 2021 was very successful.

The three openings, on limited access, for the National Garden Scheme generated almost £2,000. My fundraising through Driftwood Fundraising Group for Macmillan Cancer Support was surprisingly successful, primarily due to the garden trail weekend in July and the number of private visitors that came to see my own garden through the summer.

The total raised for the charity was just over £12,800, bringing our grand total over recent years to a staggering £98,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support. I had hoped we might hit the £100,000 this year but that will have to wait now until 2022. Plans are in hand for more fundraising next year too.

A plant that has done exceptionally well in the garden this summer has been a fairly new one called Cosmos Cupcake. I bought them as small plugs and the ten plants are now over a metre tall, swaying beautifully in the breeze in the back garden. It is an easy-to-grow, free-flowering three-colour blend of single and semi-double blooms on tall bushy plants. They are ideal for border designs and container growing. All mine are growing in containers. They have certainly seemed to cope well and looked great come rain, shine or drought this summer, not that there has been a lot of the latter.

There are lots of jobs to be getting on with in the garden this month. Make sure you water evergreen shrubs, like camellias and rhododendrons thoroughly to make sure next year’s buds develop well. It has been a challenge to keep all my 300 patio container plants well watered. Visitors say that with the excessive rain, watering would not have been necessary, that is clearly not the case in my garden. The canopies of blooms just mean rainwater falls off on the hard surface, not on the compost.

I have several small dahlias around the garden but if you have taller varieties, make sure you stake them to prevent wind and rain damage. On ongoing task, every day in my plot, is to dead-head annual bedding plants and perennials. This has been especially true after heavy rain. Removing the spent or damaged heads will encourage them to flower into autumn and stop them self-seeding. Cut back faded perennials to keep your borders tidy. If you have any herbs in the garden you can cut back now to encourage a new flush of tasty leaves you can harvest before the frost.